Rebecca Hammar came into the season with lofty goals. The Buhach Colony sophomore wanted to top 40 feet in the shot put, 140 feet in the discus and wanted to place in the top six at the state meet. Check. Check. And check.
Hammar reached every goal on her way to a Sac-Joaquin Section championship and a third-place finish at the state championships in the discus.
For her efforts, Hammar is the Sun-Star Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
"I achieved everything I wanted to this year," Hammar said. "I'm the kind of person that knows what is within my reach and that's what I want to go out and get."
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On the boys side, Livingston's Albert Millan put together an impressive season of his own.
The senior thrower set a school record in the shot put with a toss of 54-04.
He finished 12th at the state meet and is our Sun-Star Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
"I really got serious when I found out I could make it to state," Millan said. "I started putting a lot more effort into it."
Millan won the Division III title in the shot put and finished third at the
Sac Joaquin Section Masters meet.
"He started the year just about where he left off last year at about 46 feet, 7 inches," Livingston throw coach Bob Pryor said. "He just progressed a foot here and a foot there.
"The last three weeks, he progressed leaps and bounds. He's got a great work ethic. Most of our guys, I have to get on their case. He's the opposite."
Pryor says he likes to let the kids out of practice around 4:30 each evening.
However, Millan would often stay until 5:30, begging Pryor to let him throw the shot put just one more time.
"Albert will go throw on his own on the weekend," Pryor said. "He told me he's going to throw two times a week to get ready for next year.
"He's the type of kid you don't get to coach too often."
Hammar spends a lot of time with her throwing coach also.
Mike Hammar has made the state meet an annual family trip the past couple years with his daughters, Rachel and Rebecca.
"We have our rough spots, but for the most part it's good," Rebecca said. "There are times when I'm sitting at home looking at MySpace on the computer and he'll tell me to look up some throwing video.
"Or we'll be sitting at dinner after a big meet. After the meet, I'm done with it, but he'll bring up things I could have done."
As the little sister, Rebecca has always been chasing down Rachel's marks.
"She's always been better and I've looked up to her," Rebecca said. "It makes me work harder.
"I want to beat her records. It's just more fuel to the fire."
Hammar will need plenty of fuel with the goals she's already set for herself for next year.
"Hopefully I can get somewhere in the mid 40s for the shot put and 160 in the discus," Hammar said.
"Throwing hasn't been a year-round sport for me, but now it is. We'll see how well I do.
"I think I can do 10 times better if I throw all year."
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.